|"Al Horford Atlanta Hawks Win Over Pacers" by Hawks Hoop CC by 2.0|
The Celtics were one of the most surprising teams in the league last year finishing 5th in the east, in a four way tie for the 3rd seed, after being the 7 seed last year. Even though the Celtics had a great year, they still got eliminated in the first round just like last year, and the reason for their loss was because of the limited bigs they had. The Hawks had one of the best big men duo in Paul Millsap and Al Horford, and the Celtics just couldn't control them. But the Celtics fixed that this off season by signing Atlanta's Al Horford to the team. So how will the Celtics do this season?
Well as mentioned before the Celtics fixed one of their biggest problems by signing Al Horford, they also drafted forward Jaylen Brown who seems like a bright talent and definitely helps their front court and bench, but took a big losses to their lineup by losing Evan Turner who was a key player for them on both ends of the floor and Jared Sullinger who was a starter for them. But overall the Celtics improved a lot during Free Agency.
The Celtics last year finished 48-34 in a four way tie for 3rd in the East. If we are considering the moves the other teams in the East have made, we can see the Celtics ending up in the Top 4 next season. The Cavs expected to finish at number 1 next season, then this year it will be a fight for the 2nd spot between the Raptors who were the 2 seed last season, the Pacers, and the Celtics. The Celtics finally have that other star on their team along side Thomas which could definitely excel them in the Playoffs. Lets compare the Celtics starting lineup to the Pacers who seem like a team that will definitely be fighting with Celtics for the top spots in the East.
Pacers vs Celtics:
Thomas vs Teague: Thomas wins this matchup mostly because he averages better numbers, is more consistent, and comes up very clutch for his team.
Bradley vs Ellis
This is a very close matchup, since Ellis had an off year last season. Bradley 1 averaged more point, Ellis averaged 2 more assists, and they both averaged the same amount of rebounds. This is an equal matchup but we'll give this one to Ellis for averaging more assists since it led to more points.
Crowder vs George
George no question is the better player, an All-Star and Complete Super Star in this league. Being one of the best in the league is hard to beat and George averages much better numbers than Crowder.
Johnson vs Young
The Pacers picked up Thaddeus Young this off season which was an upgrade to their lineup, and comparing stats Young averaged better numbers than Johnson. But Johnson is bigger in height and weight which could cause a problem.
Horford vs Jefferson
Horford is clearly the better player. An All Star and a big pick up for the Celtics. Horford averaged better numbers all around then Jefferson who was playing a bench role in Charlotte before signing with Indiana.
So from the looks of it, the Lineups look very close, and could come down to who plays better at the shooting guard position. This will be a very interesting matchup during the season to find out who finishes with a better record.
With the editions that the Celtics have added, they're not seeming like First Round exits, they look more like Eastern Conference Finals contenders and will cause some trouble to the Cavs and the rest of the East. But the Celtics still need one more piece to make them Championship Contenders, it is that one Super Star player that can do it all. That would've been Kevin Durant if they had signed him, or Jimmy Butler or DeMarcus Cousins through trade. The Celtics just need that super star push to make them contenders, and they have enough on their team to get it